After the recent statement of the Central Government that no state and Union Territory (UT) reported Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths due to the lack of oxygen, the opposition criticised the Government.
K. Pattabhiram, the Spokesperson of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP,) on the 21st of July, released a report and opposed the claims. He said, in Andhra Pradesh, at least 30 people died due to the lack of oxygen during the second wave of COVID-19. The statement of Mr. K. Pattabhiram read, “More than 30 deaths were reported in one single incident in Ruia hospital in Tirupati. COVID-19 patients died due to lack of oxygen in Vizianagaram, Kurnool and many other towns and cities in Andhra Pradesh because of the inefficiency of the Central government to supply oxygen on time to hospitals.”
The statement of the TDP leader was said to be a counter attack on the claims of the Government of India, on handling COVID-19 situation. On the 20th of July, the Central Government informed the Rajya Sabha that no deaths of COVID-19 patients have been reported by states and UTs, due to the lack of oxygen.
The second wave of COVID-19 was at its peak between April-June, killing more than 2 lakh people due to the virus. While previous media reports suggested a lot of deaths due to the lack of oxygen supply, the GoI rubbished all the claims and media reports, stating, all the deaths were either due to comorbidities/serious condition of COVID-19 patients.
However, the TDP in Andhra Pradesh objected to the claims and said, “We were shocked and surprised. We demand that the Central Government verify the facts again and get their records straight because this has been widely reported in domestic, national and state media.”
Besides the TDP, the Indian National Congress (INC) unit in Andhra Pradesh also asked the Government to verify. V. Gurunadham, a senior leader of the INC said, “Health is a state subject but the oxygen distribution system is in the hands of the Government of India. If it is supplied properly accordingly, it is okay. But they have to supply to state governments properly. Several deaths took place. In Vizianagaram government hospital, two deaths occurred in April. In Hindupur, Kurnool, Ruia. More than 50 deaths have been reported across the state due to lack of oxygen (sic.)”
The Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain also said the Centre’s statement regarding COVID-19 death is completely false. On Tuesday (the 20th of July,) he said, “If there was no shortage of oxygen, why did hospitals move court? Hospitals and the media had been flagging oxygen shortage issues daily. Television channels showed that how hospitals were running out of the life-saving gas. It is completely false to say that no one died due to oxygen shortage. There have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country.”
Rahul Gandhi, the former Indian National Congress President also trolled the Government of India for their statement in the Rajya Sabha. He said, “There was not just a shortage of oxygen. There was an acute shortage of sensitivity and truth then, it was there then and is there now too.”
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Central Government denied all the allegations and remained stuck to the statement that none of the deaths reported during the second wave of COVID-19 was due to the lack of oxygen.
Meanwhile, so far, 4,18,511 people died due to the deadly Wuhan virus in India.